Giardia Lamblia - Symptoms

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Was diarrhea your main symptom with giardiasis? What other symptoms were associated with your infection?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white triangle:

What signs and symptoms does giardiasis cause?

The most common manifestations of giardiasis are diarrhea and abdominal pain, particularly cramping; however, diarrhea is not invariable and occurs in 60% to 90% of patients. Other common manifestations include:

  • bloating,
  • nausea with or without vomiting,
  • malaise, and
  • fatigue.

Fever is unusual. The severity of the symptoms may vary greatly from mild or no symptoms to severe symptoms. Stools may be foul smelling when the Giardia interferes with the absorption of fat from the intestine (malabsorption). The illness or the malabsorption may cause loss of weight.

Symptoms and signs of giardiasis do not begin for at least seven days following infection, but can occur as long as three or more weeks later. In most patients the illness is self-limiting and lasts 2-4 weeks. In many patients who are not treated, however, infection can last for several months to years with continuing symptoms. Children with chronic infection may fail to thrive. Some patients recover from their giardiasis, with or without treatment, but symptoms continue, perhaps because of a condition referred to as postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. the cause of the continuing symptoms is not clear but may be due to bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine.

Return to Giardia Lamblia

See what others are saying

Comment from: Barbs, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I have recently returned from a 3-month trip to the Northern Territory and Outback Queensland. For half that time I have had giardiasis. I visited 3 doctors on my travels. Only one diagnosed giardiasis and gave me antibiotics and it cleared up but returned again. I have watery, greasy, vile-smelling diarrhea, terrible smelling gas, headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and just feel sick in general. I am not sleeping very well as the gas and foul smell keep waking me up. I'm into my third day of antibiotics not much has changed yet. And this is the second lot in 4 weeks. I am an active person and sick of being sick.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: cindy, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 12

Two of my children had giardiasis when they were 3 and 5. We traveled 2 times to places where there were breakouts. My oldest daughter got it when she was around 3 and my younger child got it at about 6 months. We had very healthy kids, then over a 2 year period they both became sick all the time. The doctor would always tell us it was a virus. My husband finally yelled at the doctor to find out what was wrong with our children. They had colds, diarrhea, vomiting, upset tummies, and more. There were no medications in the US to treat giardiasis at the time so we went to the University of Hawaii and they had a doctor from India who did his homework and diluted adult medicines for the children. The medications were so strong they almost killed our oldest child. She missed about 2 months of school. Both kids were in the hospital for about 10 days. It was one of the worst experiences of our lives. I am writing this because my roommate just spent 8 days in the hospital with what he told us was renal failure when in fact he had giardiasis. I have just adopted a 3 year old little boy who still puts everything in his mouth and shares food with this man. I am super angry that he didn't tell me what it was until today, 6 weeks later. I am going to pay special attention to my son and hope he doesn't show any sickness. He has always been super healthy. Only 2 colds in his entire life and no other illnesses. This is a serious disease to get. My roommate lost over 35 lb in 4 weeks.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors